GERMANY: The government gives notice of withdrawal from the League of Nations. (Jack McKillop)
UNITED STATES: A severe windstorm lashed the northern Pacific coast. In Washington State, the storm claimed the lives of 22 persons, and caused US$1.7 million damage, mostly to timber. Winds, gusting to 87 miles per hour (140 kilometers per hour) at North Head Washington, produced waves twenty feet (6,1 meters) high. (Jack McKillop)
GERMANY: Germany ceases to be a Member of the League of Nations. (Jack McKillop)
SPAIN: In the Civil War, Nationalist forces finally succeed in capturing Gijon and Oviedo, victories which break Republican resistance in the Asturias Region of northwestern Spain and complete their conquest of the area. (Jack McKillop)
UNITED STATES: The motion picture "The Awful Truth" is released today. This romantic comedy, based on a play by Arthur Richman, is directed by Leo McCarey and stars Irene Dunne, Cary Grant and Ralph Bellamy. The plot has Dunne and Grant divorcing and doing their best to ruin each other's plans for remarriage. The film is nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Director, Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Bellamy), Best Actress in a Leading Role (Dunne); McCarey wins for Best Director. This film is ranked Number 68 of the American Film Institute's list of "The 100 Funniest American Films" and Number 77 on the list of bThe 100 Greatest American Love Stories." (Jack McKillop)
CHINA: The Japanese army advances northward, seizing Guangzhou (Canton) almost without a struggle. The Japanese had bombed the city by air for several months and most of the inhabitants have already fled. The capture of Guangzhou allows the Japanese to cut off the Guangzhou-Hankou Railway, which is the most important rail line for the transportation of foreign military imports into the interior. (Jack McKillop)
CZECHOSLOVAKIA: The Czecho-Slovak government terminates its alliance with the Soviet Union, under German government pressure. (Jack McKillop)
October 21st, 1939 (SATURDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Competitive soccer returns with a regional competition. The country is divided into 8 regions. The normal rules apply, but the plan does not include win/draw bonuses for players. Professionals in England will receive no more than 30 shillings for each match, paid to 11 men and one reserve.
The first day of the regional football leagues opens with many more goals as the players enjoy the games. The number of spectators is disappointing at only 170,000 throughout the country.
The Gloster factory begins production of the Hawker Hurricane, as part of the sub-contracting of the RAFs major fighter aircraft. (22)
NETHERLANDS: Submarine HNLMS O-21 launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
NORWAY: U.S. freighter SS City of Flint, under prize crew from German armoured ship Deutschland, puts in to Tromsø¸ for water. The Norwegian government, however, orders the ship to leave and she sails for Soviet waters. (Jack McKillop)
U.S.S.R.: The Finnish negotiator Juho Paasikivi, accompanied by Finance Minister Väinö Tanner, return to Moscow. (Mikko Härmeinen)
GIBRALTAR: U.S. freighter SS Meanticut is detained by British authorities and ordered to proceed to Oran, Algeria, to discharge certain cargo earmarked for delivery to Italy. (Jack McKillop)
CANADA: Ammunition lighter HMC NAD 01 ordered from Halifax Shipyards. Completed, 21 Mar 40 renamed HMC HC 82, lost 18 Jul 45 Bedford Basin explosion. (Dave Shirlaw)
U-15 sank SS Orsa.
U-19 sank SS Capitaine Edmond Laborie and SS Deodata. (Dave Shirlaw)
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